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MORE TRUCKERS TEST POSITIVE

Medics worried as Naivasha hospital isolation ward full

Health workers call for support, want another isolation facility opened.

In Summary

• The current crisis poses a major threat to residents and health workers.

• Last week, more than 300 drivers were stranded in Mai Mahiu town for over a week after the facility ran out of testing kits.

Lorries parked in Mai mahiu town as the drivers wait to be tested before collecting cargo from the nearby Inland Container Depot.
COVID-19 FEARS: Lorries parked in Mai mahiu town as the drivers wait to be tested before collecting cargo from the nearby Inland Container Depot.
Image: George Murage

The high number of truck drivers testing positive for Covid-19 at the Inland Container Depot in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha, have overstretched services at the Naivasha Subcounty Hospital.

With the isolation ward at the hospital already full, medics are now calling for support from the national government and for the opening of another isolation centre to deal with the worrying surge in cases.

Last week, more than 300 drivers were stranded in Mai Mahiu town for over a week after the facility ran out of testing kits, leaving them to mingle with residents.

 
 

According to a senior medic who declined to be named, the current crisis poses a major threat to residents and health workers.

“The isolation ward in Naivasha hospital whose capacity is six is full, overstretching our services and it's time the issue of these drivers was keenly addressed,” the medic said, adding that the solution lies in opening the KWS Training Institute and turning the student cubicles into isolation wards.

“We want the national government to urgently intervene so the management of the institute can allow us to use their cubicles in isolating these drivers.”

In a statement by Nakuru Health executive Kariuki Gichuki, the county has 60 confirmed cases. Eight of them have recovered. Of the number, 15 were truck drivers, six were food handlers and two were health workers. Thirty-four of them had been identified by health workers.

“We have fewer numbers of patients in our isolation facilities than those who tested positive because most of them are truck drivers who proceeded with their journeys before getting their results,” Gichuki said.

The county also had 70 people in its quarantine facilities. The CEC warned that the high number of new cases meant that the disease was spreading fast at the community level.

Not long ago, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the recently commissioned Inland Container Depot (ICD) could end up being an epicentre for the disease.

 
 

While putting residents of Mai Mahiu and Naivasha on high alert, Kinyanjui noted that transport corridors were now the main source of the virus.

“We welcome the move to open the ICD but with the high number of long-distance drivers, we fear this could be another source of the disease as has happened in Busia,” he said.

Kinyanjui called for extra-caution from area residents when dealing with the drivers. He urged them to observe government guidelines.